PARIS – Between 2015 and 2017, "more than 1,100 human rights defenders were murdered in the for having wanted to promote and protect human rights, "Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, said here Monday.
Speaking in Paris on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly, he warned that the picture of the situation was " not happy. "
The murders are "increasingly" perpetrated by "organized crime" but also sometimes sponsored by "international companies" working in particular in the mining sector, said the rapporteur, a few days before the presentation to the UN report on the human rights situation in 140 countries.
Physical attacks, threats, kidnappings, disappearances are increasing worldwide, he added, also highlighting the progress of the "phenomenon of impunity."
As an example, he highlighted the case of Latin America where "out of 100 murders of defenders, five investigations are conducted and two concrete results of murderers brought to justice and convicted."
Michel Forst also worried about the stigmatization and defamation campaigns suffered by human rights defenders but also about "the restriction of the space reserved for civil society in the world, including in Western Europe . "
Human rights defenders also came to testify about their struggle.
Closing of the various debates, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Foreign Affairs pointed out that "within the EU itself in particular thanks to the rise of populist speeches we observe significant regressions of the human rights . "